Today’s post is around an event which happened over the weekend. A friend of the family died suddenly a few weeks ago. I’ve known the family since I was a kid, we had sleepovers, skied together and hung out. Our fathers were work colleagues and friends. As the only family representative in the city I went to the mass celebrating his life Saturday.
I hadn’t seen the family in a few years. Living in other provinces and even the same city, we lead seperate lives. My parents are the people who normally are in touch. The church was packed. Seeing the family minus their patriarch was hard. He was a larger than life figure. As I hugged his wife, daughter and son the memories came flooding back. With them a river of tears unbidden.
At one point as I sat in a pew listening to the priest and various friends speak it struck me the tears and grief had to be bigger than the man who had died. I have many fond memories of him. I worked for he and his business partner one summer in an attempt at finding direction while at university. He embodied joie de vivre. Maybe that’s why he and my father got along so well. Maybe that’s why I sat there mystified by the amount of moisture on my cheeks.
My father and the man who died shared many similarities and I couldn’t help but think my father would never draw the kind of crowd present. As I sat there wave after wave of grief hit, prayers mumbled through tear stained lips, memories hauntingly omnipresent. I realized I’d tapped into much deeper grief.
Life is precious. Death a reminder to live each moment as fully as possible. As I headed to the hill after the service to teach, surrounded by kids, sunshine and a sport I love so much, the sadness eased a little, and with it a vow to appreciate life, the little things and each other more.